They came from far and wide. It was a sunny, hot, 95 degree, unusually warm Los Angeles November day. Hard to believe another year has passed, but it again was time for the Days of our Lives Day of Days Event held annually at City Walk at Universal Studios in Hollywood.
It is the one event that fans come hours before to see their favorite Salem character, and it's the place where you can meet and greet and get up close and personal with your favorite star, and just have a grand old time. You will leave feeling like you spent the whole day in Salem.
In fact, when you enter, you are greeted by a sign saying, "Welcome to Salem." The stage is set with the hourglass (Days logo) as the back drop. Chairs line the front of the stage and anticipating fans are seated waiting for the magical moment to begin, as the stars start their stroll down the red carpet.
Clarence Barnes is the announcer for the event. A well known radio personality and entertainer, he announces the stars by name and then character name to loud screams and applause from the audience.
The stars line up inside the Hard Rock Café (Universal) where they make their entrance to the event through the front doors. All the stars receive a thunderous loud roar from the fans.
"Oh my God! "I came from Bangor, Maine to see Eric Martsolf (Brady). My heart has been pounding for days," said Veronica Enright. "I'm 70 years old. I'm old enough to be his grandma, but I love him. I can see why he won his Emmy and is he ever dreamy. And now that I saw him, I think my heart stopped for a second."
Guy Wilson (Will) said that this is his first event and he is floored. "You know...it's not only a day for the fans, but for the actors as well," he said. "They come to see us, but it is also a pleasure to see them and get to reach out to the people that watch us every day."
Clarence Barnes said that he was asked to do this event several years ago and has never regretted the offer. "I got this call if I was interested. I thought I'd give it a shot and I love it," he said. "In this medium it is hard have devoted fans, but I can truly see these people adore these actors."
The event begins around 10:30 AM and continues through the day. At City Walk, tables are setup in different locations throughout the venue and fans line up to see their favorite stars. The stars are paired according to storyline. Everyone receives an itinerary and a bag of Days of our Lives goodies and memento's, including an envelope with photos of the cast, suitable for autographs and framing!
Galen Gering (Rafe) looked thrilled to see the fans, not to mention the screaming when he arrived at his station. "This is great! Look at these people," he said. "I have to say I love what I do and this is the reason."
Fans were shouting "Galen, Galen," and Gering with his bright, white smile gave each fan what they wanted, even if just to say Hi.
This is the meet and greet part where fans can get up close, get an autographed picture, or take a picture of the actor and even get in a shot with them. Can you even imagine your photo with a Days of our Lives star? Well! It can happen at this event.
It is also a big day for the press. Even tough we interview the stars throughout the year, this is our opportunity to catch up with the whole cast in a private meeting room.
Joe Mascolo (Stefano) not only got applause from the fans, but the press was overjoyed to see the veteran performer. "I would not miss this event for the world," he said. "I love to see the people and I love when people ask me what is next up my sleeve. I only have to say cheers for the creation of my character, and cheers to Days for keeping him around and me."
Becky and David Waterman of Bakersfield, California, came just to see Mascolo. "We have been a fan of his for more years than we care to remember," they both said. "Even in person, he looks like a man with power that can take on the world."
Peggy McKay (Caroline) always looking well coiffured, shares her Hollywood stories and her love for Days. it's always a joy to hear her enthusiasm. "I love this show. Isn't it amazing we are still here ?" she said. "I love playing Caroline, but the only regret I have is not marrying Victor (John Aniston). I would have had it all," she said with a laugh!
McKay brought as a guest, Francesca Hilton, the daughter of Hollywood legend Zsa Zsa Gabor. Loved her pullover shirt which said: "Hollywood Royalty." On who else would it be more fitting? "Peggy and I are friends, but I love being here. I want to be on the show," she jokingly said. But joking or not, we got the feeling she was lobbying for a role!
And then, there's Meredith Scott Lynn (Ann). Oh my what can be said about her? On Days she is always plotting and scheming, but in person she has a way with the crowd. This year, not only was she with the cast, but she took over some MC duties. She was talking to the fans, asking questions, and being a real card. Not only is she talented, but has a way of keeping the audience in stitches.
The highlight of her performance was when she went up on stage and sang a Hanukah holiday song with Ari Zucker (Nicole). The two were quite the pair. For Scott's outstanding performance, she received a high bouquet of flowers and of course, she took a tumble when she got them -- just for laughs!
The actors break for lunch and then return for a Q&A on stage where all are gathered and the fans get to ask their questions of what they always wanted to know on their favorite star.
Deidre Hall (Marlena), who looks more beautiful each year, and Drake Hogestyn (John) at a fans request, acted out a romantic scene on stage, sending the audience in to a tizzy. Did Hall actually grab Hogestyn's butt? Decide for yourself!
Kristian Alfonso (Hope) looked drop dead gorgeous. She was asked many questions by her fans, and Jen Lily (Theresa) and Eric Martsolf ( announced that they teamed to do a Days holiday CD and did a preview. ("Baby It's Cold Outside is now available on iTunes.)
Lauren Koslow (Kate) said that each year she looks forward to meeting the fans. She jokingly said, that she likes to show them she is not vindictive like Kate. "For me to meet the fans is a joy. I love it," she said. "It is a way of showing me the feedback from the fans. You Days fans are the best."
Aloma Wright, who plays Maxine, couldn't agree more. This was her first fan event and she said she was beside herself. "Oh my Lord! I'm in awe of all these people coming out," Wright said. "This is really wonderful. It makes me feel like I see first hand the fans appreciate the work we as actors do."
Guy Wilson (Will) and Freddie Smith (Sonny) assured the press and fans that with their characters, the best is yet to come. Since the show is shot six months in advance the actors have first hand knowledge of the story. "I guarantee it. Just keep watching," Wilson said to much joy from everyone that the famous team of "Wilson" will survive.
Then there are the classic legends, Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) and Bill and Susan Hayes (Doug and Julie). The three look absolutely stunning. As a sideline career they need to tell their secrets on how they keep themselves looking so youthful. Rogers attended many of the Day of Days events and noted that each year they get better. "I'm shocked to hear people are here from other countries. I love it!"
Bill and Susan Hayes have such passion and devotion for their work and of course thank the Corday family (creators of Days). They spent a great time reminiscing on the show over the years bringing back fond memories of stories and of course talked about Doug's Place on the Lake, the supper club that Doug owned in the 1970's. I guess you can truly say...Thanks for the Memories "I never thought I'd see the show reach 50 years, but come next year, we're there." Susan Hayes said. Bill exclaimed, "I can't believe it. I am just overjoyed."
Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) and Judi Evans (Adrianne) have both been with the show for years and have extensive history. Both agreed they are proud to be on the show. "Since I started, much has changed, but the goal has always been the same, the viewer," said Mary Beth Evans. "As for me, I have also seen a lot, but I will tell you the show has survived because of the fans, the stories, and they (Days) are not afraid to tackle anything," she said referring to the first male gay wedding.
Candy Bullistra traveled all the way from Amsterdam and said that seeing the Hayes' made the trip worthwhile. "I have been Doug and Julie fans since, dare I say it, the seventies!" she whispered. "They are so adorable. I can tell you I will travel and be here from now on every year. This is great! Thanks Days for caring."
John Aniston (Victor) said it's a long day, but worth it. Aniston talked briefly about his famous daughter, Jennifer, saying he is proud of her and she is proud oh him. "I also have to say I'm so proud of Days. Being on this show has been very rewarding and I am so grateful. I love these fans, and that's why I'm here.
Jen Lilley (Theresa) also looking gorgeous said that she loves doing events like this and said it is about the fans. "I really like to meet people, and this event is so neat." Lilley also hinted that on Days with her character, keep waiting the best is to come, she laughed.
Casey Moss (JJ), True O'Brien (Paige), Kate Manci (Abby), Robert Scott Wilson (Ben) were all in awe of the event. Each added what fun it is to see the fans. I mean literally the fans were peaking through the windows where the actors met the press. Kate Manci actually threw a kiss to a few male fans.
Billy Flynn (Chad), who is new to the show was shocked at the response. "Wow! I hope to be a part of more of these events. I do the show and I guess never realize that these people are out there watching."
The event concluded with some clips of future shows, which were very dramatic to say the least. It was played on a huge Trinitron screen and all you could hear were the whimpering of joy from the audience. And the surprise ending was Molly Burnett (Molly) walked out on stage and officially announced that She's Back!. The audience went wild (she began airing this week).
Someone shouted, who will you sleep with? And Shawn Christian (Dr. Daniel) her TV dad said "I think with me." Hope not. That would be too weird, even for a soap opera! Also introduced to the fans was the new actor Christopher Sean, who plays Paul Narita.
So as the sand goes through the hourglass another Days of Days event is history, but for those of us who attended, the memories will live on. Stay tuned to Soapdom.com for the announcement of Day of Days 2015. You'll want to mark your calendars!
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